House of Reps tasks FG on inclusive education

Lawmakers in the House of Representatives have urged the Federal Ministry of Education to implement global standards in turning around the country’s education sector.

This is as the lawmakers urged the Federal Government to promote and implement policies to enhance inclusive education.

The lawmakers, according to PUNCH, while making this call during Thursday’s plenary adopted a bill titled, “Need to implement global standards on national policy on education.” The bill was sponsored by Moshood Oshun.

There have been calls by education stakeholders for a review of the nation’s education curricula to meet the diverse needs of students even as some experts advocated the need for skills acquisition.

Oshun who represents Lagos Mainland Federal Constituency, Lagos State while leading the debate stressed the need to prioritise special needs education to cater to the individual needs of students and those with disabilities.

According to him, the National Policy on Education requires adhering to global standards for improving education for children with special needs, promoting inclusive access and a less restrictive learning environment.

This is as he quoted Section 18(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) as providing that “Government shall direct its policy towards ensuring that there are equal and adequate educational opportunities at all levels.”

“That the present practice of the NPE in public schools remains not consistent with existing global standards due to the inadequacy of qualified staff, learning materials, software and equipment such as braille devices, audiometers, auditory Steady State Response, mobility devices, as well as specialised facilities for students with special needs, among others.

“The House is worried that many individuals, including educators and parents, are unaware of special education laws and policies, leading to gaps in implementation and ineffective support for special needs students,” he added.

The House urged the Federal Ministry of Education to commence full implementation of the National Policy on Education about Special Needs Education and ensure that adequate resources are made available to provide a conducive learning environment in public schools for pupils and students with special needs.

It further mandated the Committee on Disabilities to investigate the non-implementation of the National Policy on Special Needs Education to ensure speedy implementation and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.

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